This documentation is no longer maintained and may contain obsolete information.
Connecting to the CAST Engineering Dashboard
Please see CAST-CED - Managing users and roles for more information about the User configuration process. This guide assumes that the users have already been set up.
To connect to the CAST Engineering Dashboard:
- Open your web browser (Internet Explorer or other supported browser - see the Release Notes)
- Enter the following URL:
Please note that the "SERVER_NAME" needs to be changed to the name (or IP address) of the server hosting the application server. The same is true for the port number: by default for Apache Tomcat it is "8080", although this may be different in the local environment and indeed may be different if you are using a different supported application server.
- The connection screen will then be displayed:
- Enter the correct login and password combination - this will have been given to you by your CAST Administrator. This combination grants you access to the information depending on the rights your login has been given.
- Click the Connect button to begin the connection process.
- If the connection is successful, your designated Home page will then be displayed (see User Preferences for more information about this). If not a warning message will be displayed - check your settings and try again.
A general description of the CAST Engineering Dashboard main page follows.
The CAST Engineering Dashboard offers browsing mechanisms into the quality and quantity information along the different following dimensions:
- From aggregated quality-and quantity-related information to highly detailed information:
- Browse up and down the quality and quantity models, showing for instance Application Health Factor values or Metric values or even the list of elementary objects responsible for the value
- From 'Application' node to each individual 'Module' node:
- Browse up and down
- From 'Organization' nodes of the 'Organization Tree' to each individual 'Developer' node:
- Browse up and down the 'Organization Tree'
- From a single-'Snapshot' to a multi - or all-'Snapshot' view
Browsing up and down any dimension is allowed. As an example, one can browse:
- down one level along the quality model
- up one level along another branch of the quality model
- switch to the 'Organization Tree'
- down one level along the 'Organization Tree'
- switch to all-'Snapshot' view for monitoring
- switch to single-'Snapshot' view for a previous 'Snapshot'
Drop down menu
To provide easier access to your information, the CAST Engineering Dashboard pages features a drop down menu list to help you move easily between pages:
Each CAST Engineering Dashboard user is designated three favorite pages and these will appear by default in the drop down menu. You can modify the pages that are designated as favorites using the User Preferences page.
In addition, each user has a Home page - the content of this page is governed by your CAST Engineering Dashboard login. For example, the default CAST user has Investigation - Quality Model Drilldown (see Investigation - Quality Model Drilldown) as the Home page, however, you can change this using the User Preferences page.
Users with Administrator rights can modify the content of each default page using the Users Access Administration Pages (see Quick Access).
Most pages in the CAST Engineering Dashboard display details about the current snapshot (name, version, date):
Easy access to all available views (FRAME_PORTAL_EASYACCESS_ADG)
The CAST Engineering Dashboard provides a wide range of different views. To view an exhaustive list of them all and to be able to access any one of them, select the More option in the drop down menu:
This will display a new page in which you can select and access any one of the available views:
The CAST Engineering Dashboard contains various menu items to help you work with your data:
Select application / Select context
These rollover options are available on most pages and allow you to quickly choose the specific application or context you require:
Select system / application...
Allows you to choose the Application (as defined in the CAST Management Studio) you require.
Allows you to choose the Context you require - i.e., the Modules defined (whether automatically or manually in the CAST Management Studio) in each Application.
Use this option to search for items in the CAST Engineering Dashboard.
The search functions as follows:
- The search is carried out on the words you enter (i.e. it is a character search)
- The search is case-insensitive
The following items are searched:
- Quality Indicators (i.e. Quality Rules)
- Applications and Modules
- Development Entities (i.e. Development Organizations declared in a Background Facts XML file)
- Source Code Objects
- Search summary - i.e. in where matches have been found:
- Object Full Names - source code objects, Applications, Modules etc.
- Entity Names - Development Organizations declared in a Background Facts XML file
- Quality Indicator Names - Quality Rules
- Misc. info such as Deleted objects, Indicators with no results, Object Types, Indicators’ parents etc.
- The first 100 objects are listed that match the search criteria
- Results are sorted by type and then by name
Filtering specific items
To help you limit the scope of the search facility, you can use the following shortcuts to search for specific items:
|rule:||Use this to target Quality Rule, Measures and Distributions. If you are searching for a particular Quality Rule, enter for example (change rule name for the name of the rule/measure/distribution): rule:rule name|
|obj:||Use this to target objects by name. If you are searching for a particular object, enter for example (change object name for the name of the object): obj:object name|
|ruleid:||Use this to target Quality Rule, Measures and Distributions by id number. If you are searching for a particular item, enter for example (change number for the id of the object): ruleid:number|
Technical or Application/Module investigation
In the Investigation - Quality Model Drilldown page either one of the following icons will be visible on the menu bar:
Allows you to switch from the current Applications/Modules focus to the Technology focus (default mode)
Allows you to switch from the current Technology focus to the Applications/Modules focus
When you switch, the context selector (see above) will change, allowing to you browse by Application/Module:
or by Technology:
Capture permanent URL
In the following pages:
you can use thelocated in the top right hand corner of the CAST Engineering Dashboard to obtain a permanent URL to the data you are looking at (simply copy the URL in the address bar or bookmark it). This is particularly useful if you have changed the focus of Business or Technical Criterion (for example).
On every page in the CAST Engineering Dashboard a star symbol will be visible in the menu bar:
This page is already a favorite.
This page is not yet a favorite and can be designated a favorite by clicking the star.
When a page is designated as a favorite, it will appear in the Drop Down menu (see above). You can manage your favorite pages via the User Preferences page.
User drop down menu
Each user has a user menu:
Will redirect you to your designated Home page - see the User Preferences page for more information about modifying the designated Home page.
Redirects you to the User Preferences page where you can manage your favorites and designated Home page.
Will log you out of the CAST Engineering Dashboard.
Left hand panel
In most static User profiled pages a left hand panel is displayed containing various statistical information:
Note that some data is not displayed depending on the page you are looking at.
Award section (Quality/Risk Protected)
The Award section shows award icons based on the grade of the application with regard to TQI (Total Quality Index) and the number of violations to Quality Rule-based metrics whose "critical contribution" option has been set and which participate in the Robustness, Performance and Security Health Factors.
The Application will receive:
- a Superior Quality (5 star) award if their TQI grade is greater than the GOLD parameter value (default is '3.1').
- a Fair Quality (4 star) award if their TQI grade is lower or equal to the GOLD parameter value (default is '3.1') and greater than the SILVER parameter value (default is '2.9').
- a Risk-Protected award if the number of violations to diagnostic-based metrics whose "critical contribution" option has been set and which participate to the Robustness, Performance, and Security Health Factors is lower than the BRONZE parameter value (default is '200'). This award is not incompatible with the previous awards.
If the TQI grade is lower then 2.9, then no Award stars are displayed at all.
The idea behind these awards is to let organizations define internal objectives and reward applications that reach these objectives. Some applications may not reach any of these objectives and the "award" section will simply not be displayed.
To set up different values, adapt and run the following query against the CAST Dashboard Service:
- The application server must then be restarted so that the new values are taken into account.
Technical Debt is displayed in order to:
- Provide information to make quality more tangible to non-technical people
- Provide information to compare applications
Technical Debt is calculated as follows:
- Total Technical Debt per Application
- Total Technical Debt per Module
- Technical Debt Added in Current Release of the Application
- Technical Debt Removed in Current Release of the Application
Other statistics are displayed underneath the Technical Debt:
- Various statistics for Current and Previous snapshots - Critical Violations/Critical Objects
- Snapshot information - Date of current/previous/first snapshot and number of snapshots generated, including Quality index data
- Technical Size - kLOCs/Classes/Files/Programs/Forms/SQL Artifacts/Tables
- Functional Weight - Backfired Function Points/Estimated Function Points/Total Decision Points
- Top 5 technos for kLOCs
With regard to Functional Weight:
- NoKey will be displayed if you do not have the correct AFP/EFP license from CAST enabling you to view these statistics
- NoCalib will be displayed if Estimated Function Points do exist but you have not used the to calibrate your Function Points.
- A value will be displayed if you have used the to calibrate your Function Points.
Other browsing helpers
Some pages that include lists of items in a table (for example the Reports - FAQuery) use interactive tables to display data. These interactive tables allow you to sort the data in a more comprehensive manner than simply in ascending/descending order.
To do so, click the arrow in any of the column headings you want to perform the sort on:
This will give you access to a drop down menu offering various sort methods and options:
Each option is explained below:
Sorts the data in the selected column in ascending alphabetical or numerical order.
Sorts the data in the selected column in descending alphabetical or numerical order.
Use this option to configure your sort further. A new dialog box will be displayed:
Auto Fit All Columns
Sets the width of all columns to best fit the size of the data.
Sets the width of the current column to best fit the size of the data.
A sub menu displays all available columns in the table allowing you to display or hide the columns you require. By default all columns are selected and displayed.
Group by <column_name>
Groups the data by the selected column. In this example, the FAQueries view "List of 50 Rules with largest increase in the number of Violations" is grouped by the Business Criterion column:
This option reverses the Group by <column_name> option.
Use this option to freeze the column and place it in the far most left hand position.
Use this option to unfreeze any column that has already been "frozen".
Buttons - Action/Exclusion/Reset
Some interactive tables feature buttons such as Action, Exclusion and Reset (see Improvement - Action Plan for more information about this) to modify the state of the objects listed in the table. If you use one of these buttons to make a change, please note that information in the table will only be updated once you have refreshed the current page, or moved to another page and then back to the original page.
Drag and drop columns
You can drag and drop columns in an interactive table to move the column position:
- Left click the column you want to move
- Hold the mouse button down and drag the column to its new position.
Non-interactive tables - column sort
Some lists that do not include the full interactive table, still offer the possibility to sort each column in ascending or descending alphanumeric order. Simply click the column heading to sort the column. An arrow indicates the sort direction:
Web browser error messages
If the connection to your CAST Dashboard Service should be lost for whatever reason, the CAST Engineering Dashboard will display detailed information about the error. It is no longer necessary to open the application server log files to identify the problem:
The CAST Engineering Dashboard features pages with stable URLs to be used as shortcuts for direct access to pages of interest. URLs use object, snapshot and metric internal IDs; they are therefore as stable as the:
- Application and Module definitions
- (optional) Organization, Team, Developer definitions
- Snapshots (as long as they are not deleted)
- Quantity and Quality models
Threshold indicator colours
In some pages in the CAST Engineering Dashboard (for example in the Compliance - Application Level), the following threshold indicator colours are also used (actual threshold values can be changed in the CAST Management Studio) to display the grade of an item:
|2.99 - 2.00|
Very High (bad)
|1.99 and below|
Panels, where available, can be maximized to fill an entire page by clicking on the square icon in the top right hand corner of each panel:
To restore the panel to its original size, click the double square icon:
This maximization feature allows you to access larger graphs and larger lists. Lists are paginated and can be exported with the Export All hyperlink into CSV format. List headers also let you sort the table according to the column of your choice.
Export to CSV
The CAST Engineering Dashboard provides the means to export various lists and tables to CSV format. Most notably, this feature can be found in the following locations:
- In the panels where available (for example: Investigation - Quality Model Drilldown)
- In the Reports - FAQuery
- In the Reports - FlexReport
The feature can be accessed by clicking the Export all link in any of the above locations as show below:
On clicking the link, you will be prompted to either Open or Save the file:
Clicking Open will launch the program associated with the .csv file type, while clicking Save will prompt you to choose a location to store the file for future use.
By default, the semi-colon (;) is used as the delimiter value for the CSV file. If this delimiter is not suitable for your environment, you can modify it via the web.xml file - see Modifying the CSV delimiter for Export to CSV feature for more information.
If you use Microsoft Excel to open .csv files, it is possible that the content of the exported file may not display correctly. If this is the case, please check that your Windows defined List Separator value is a semi-colon (;) or matches the delimiter value you have set manually (see Modifying the CSV delimiter for Export to CSV feature for more information):
- Open the Windows Control Panel (via the Start menu)
- Click Regional and Languages Options
- In the Regional Options tab, click the Customize button
- Ensure that the List Separator is set to ; (semi colon) or matches the delimiter value you have set manually
- Click Apply and then OK to close the dialog box, then OK to close the initial dialog box. The Separator should now be set.
- Microsoft Excel should display the export as follows:
Export to PDF
The Report Builder feature (see Using the Report Builder) offers export to PDF format if required.
As explained in CAST-CED - Managing users and roles, it is possible to set a specific language for each dashboard user (English, French, Italian and German) so that the dashboard is displayed in that specific language. Please note however that currently only English is FULLY available.
Date display format
The date display format in the CAST Engineering Dashboard is determined by the language chosen for each user (English, French, Italian and German):
Date display format
MM-dd-yyyy (US formatting)
This can be seen for example in the Assessment - Portfolio Level when looking at the Portfolio History graph:
If you print out a page from the CAST Engineering Dashboard, you may find that the images embedded in the dashboard are not printed correctly. This can occur if you are using Internet Explorer and your browser cache is disabled (i.e.: Temporary Internet Files are set to "Never"). If this is the case, please set Temporary Internet Files to "Automatically" as shown below (you can access this dialog box by clicking Tools > Internet Options and then under the General tab, Browsing History section, click the Settings button):
You may need to restart the browser for the changes to take effect. Note that other supported browsers are not affected by this issue.